Jams, Orange Gunge and dear old Microsoft Publisher

Tuesday, 28th February 2006

the finished coverOne thing that I like about printing books here in the studio is the control it gives me over the printing process.

One thing that I don't like is that I don't have control over the printing process.

I'm reprinting my Coxley Valley booklet and I've decided, since it's quite a slow seller, that I'll print it as needed in small batches here in the studio.

When I first published it, 6 years ago, I had the cover printed professionally, so I need to re-design it for the process of printing here at home.

Office AssistantThe Perils of Publishing

It has been a classic example of the pitfalls of desk top publishing:

  1. Microsoft Publisher decided that my acrylic painting of the stile by Coxley Dam would look better with a dull orange gunge printed over it (below, on the left).

  2. Macromedia FreeHand is better behaved - voila!: no orange gunge, just like the image I created in Adobe Photoshop. Phew.

  3. printer

    But . . . my old Minolta QMS magicolor laser printer is so clunky when used with FreeHand that my precious toner ends up on paper from the regular tray, instead of the card that I've just loaded in the side tray. Grrrr. And of course, as with any other printer, there are the paper jams . . .

  4. Coxley reject coversFor reasons we now regret, we get our electricity supplied by British Gas and when at last I get around to printing the final perfect colour cover the electricity supply falters and my artwork prints out in a deep magenta colourway instead of yellow (right).

Soooo frustrating.

Not my Stile

Technical note: I'm printing the image of the stile as a CMYK Tif.

It's taken some doing but at last I'm pleased with the results and, along the way, I have acquired some in depth knowledge of colour settings in Photoshop and FreeHand. But, sorry Microsoft, I'm not going to risk your orange gunge overprinting in future. Next Page

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk